A Kinder, Gentler Thermometer

We members of the Society of Sleep Deprived Moms know the dilemma all too well: You check on your sleeping tot in the middle of the night. He feels warm. Eesh. Could be a fever. But the last thing you want to do is pull out the thermometer and wake him if it's a false alarm. The ThermoFocus from KidzMed ($69.99) may be the answer.


You just point the thermometer at your slumbering tot's forehead, press a button, and in a second a reading pops up (without any noisy beeps). A bonus: Thermofocus also works for bathwater and food. How does it work? A special infrared technology something or other (but I don't really care, as long as I can go back to sleep).

A study funded by the maker says ThermoFocus is as accurate as traditional thermometers. But for a toddler (unlike for a baby), the exact number on the readout isn't as important as simply knowing whether he has a fever or not, says pediatrician Dr. Joseph Bocchini, MD, of Louisiana State University's Health Sciences Center. Rather, pay more attention to how your child is acting with the fever. If he's playing on the floor with his Thomas trains, tormenting his sister, or doing all the stuff he normally does, then he's probably just fighting a virus, Bocchini says. But if he's fatigued, vomiting, or seems like a different kid, something more serious could be going on and you should call a doctor.

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